GOP Senators Trying to Block Tobacco Suit
Senate Republicans have quietly slipped an obstacle in the path of the Clinton administration's threat to file a massive lawsuit against the tobacco industry, and several Democrats vowed yesterday to fight to remove the roadblock.
The Senate Appropriations Committee last week approved language -- two sentences buried in a lengthy report accompanying the Justice Department's spending bill -- stating that no money is provided for a tobacco lawsuit or expert witnesses to testify in such a case. The Justice Department had sought $20 million in its budget to finance the suit. The proposed federal suit would seek to recover money spent to treat smoking-related illnesses through Medicare and other federal insurance programs.